Music journalism

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Music journalism is a form of cultural journalism that specializes in music. It is used in a variety of media, such as print , radio , television and the Internet , but is also reflected in book and CD publications.


The history of music journalism begins in 1798. In that year the Allgemeine Musikische Zeitung was founded in Leipzig by publishers Gottfried Christoph Härtel and Friedrich Rochlitz . It contained reports on music and reviews and appeared until 1882. In 1834 another publication was added with the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik . Representatives of music criticism were Robert Schuman , Friedrich Nietzsche , George Bernhard Shaw and Romain Rolland . In 1894 the subject became popular in the United States with the appearance of Billboard Magazine . The internet has opened up new opportunities for music journalism, e.g. B. for specialized blogs and homepages .

to form

Music journalism includes:

  • announcing live concerts, musical competitions, opera performances and new CD / DVD releases
  • Interviews with artists (soloists, conductors, band members, important directors), concert promoters and artistic directors, musicologists and, if necessary, moderators of a program
  • Well-founded music reviews and reviews of premieres, concerts, festivals and new CD / DVD releases
  • Announcement and classification of news from major opera houses and concert halls (change of artistic director, theater development, budget cut), from cultural policy and the (possible) impact on musical life
  • Obituaries for recently deceased important artists in the music field, contributions to anniversaries
  • Description of musical styles, their most important representatives and their environment
  • Reports on current aesthetic discussions and developments in music management and the music market
  • Comprehensive biographies of artists and musical styles

Music journalism always depends on the medium that publishes a contribution. Weightings of recommendable or insignificant concerts are mostly determined by the profile of the medium: regional media report on events in the region, national media mostly concentrate on the most important cultural locations in the metropolitan areas. (An exception for Germany is Bayreuth with the Richard Wagner Festival that takes place regularly). The forms common in journalism such as report , comment , interview , criticism , review , etc. are used. On radio and television, direct statements from visitors are also used.

It is customary to specialize in various fields, e.g. B. Classical music for cultural radio or pop for format radio . In the print media in particular, the areas of musicology and music journalism often overlap .


Even if the journalist profession is not protected, studying music or musicology in connection with professional practice is common. In addition, there are now various special courses offered at universities, music colleges and universities of applied sciences:

  • Music journalists have been trained at the Karlsruhe University of Music since 1995, originally in the postgraduate course "Diplom-Rundfunk-Musikjournalismus". Since 2007, the Institute for Music Journalism there has offered a Bachelor's and Master's degree in music journalism for radio, TV and the Internet . Courses in the field of journalism for radio and TV are combined under the title The young culture channel with a practical VHF broadcasting 45 hours per week. Since autumn 2010, a bachelor's degree in Culture Media Technology (KMT) has been offered in cooperation with the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences - Technology and Business .
  • The Technical University of Dortmund has been the only German university to offer an undergraduate bachelor's degree as well as a postgraduate master’s degree in music journalism since the 2010/2011 winter semester . The programs run jointly by the Institute for Music and Musicology and the Institute for Journalism focus on classical music in radio, TV and online journalism. Under the label terzwerk , practical training sections in editorial work and broadcast production in connection with nrwision (TV) and eldoradio (radio) are a central part of the training.
  • In Hanover you can study a master's degree in music journalism at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media with a focus on music journalism / PR and strategic management.
  • At the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich you can study the master's degree in music journalism in public and private broadcasting .
  • The Kalaidos University of Applied Sciences in Aarau (Switzerland) offers the CAS (Certificate in Advanced Studies) postgraduate course in music journalism .

Various other courses of study, in particular on cultural journalism , music management, and music and media, exist at Bachelor and Master levels. These also affect the field of music journalism, even if they are not usually focused.


  • Marc Woodworth / Ally-Jane Grossan (eds.): How to Write about Music. Excerpts from the 33 1/3 Series, Magazines, Books and Blogs with Advice from Industry-Leading Writers. Bloomsbury: New York 2015.
  • Gunter Reus and Teresa Naab: Behave optimistic. How music journalists see their work, their audience and their future - an inventory (with numerous survey results and literature references). In: Journalistik, Volume 59, Issue 2/2014, pp. 107-133.
  • Walther von La Roche / Axel Buchholz (eds.): Radio journalism. Springer VS: Wiesbaden 2013 ( journalistic practice ).
  • Kilian Moritz: cultural journalism. In: Markus Kaiser (Ed.): Special Interest. Departmental journalism - concepts, training, practice , Munich (Econ-Verlag) 2012, ISBN 978-3-430-20145-2 .
  • André Doehring : Music communicators: professional roles, organizational structures and scope for action in pop music journalism. transcript: Bielefeld 2011.
  • Björn Schneider: Talk about Popmusic: Music and music journalistic content in public law pop waves. Saarbrücken: vdm Verlag 2010.
  • Holger Schramm (Ed.): Music and Media. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft: Konstanz 2009.
  • Peter Overbeck (Ed.): Radio journalism. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft: Konstanz 2009 (Journalism Handbook).
  • Peter Overbeck (Hrsg.): Music and culture in the radio. Lit-Verlag: Münster 2007 (Mediendialoge, Vol. 1).
  • Peter Overbeck (Ed.): Music journalism. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft, Konstanz 2005 (Practical Journalism, Volume 59).
  • Press and publications. In: Deutscher Musikrat (Ed.): Musik-Almanach 2007/08. Data and facts on musical life in Germany, Regensburg, ConBrio, 2006, pp. 1185–1221.
  • Robert D. Schick: Classical Music Criticism. Garland: New York 1996.
  • Frizz Lauterbach (Ed.): Series "Music & Media", Strube Verlag.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Music Journalism: History - accessed June 11, 2020
  2. Music Journalism: Outlook - accessed June 11, 2020
  3. Wolfgang Goertz: Good grades , in: Die Zeit (January 20, 2011).
  4. AQAS eV: External reaccreditation decision and report (2016) with a detailed description and assessment of the music journalism courses at TU Dortmund University.